Last week, the first information about Project Nightingale was leaked Google in collaboration with Ascension which puts the Mountain View group in a position to access the information contained in the medical records of millions of patients from 21 different US states. A practice that has raised legitimate doubts and concerns regarding the privacy of those directly involved, with the United States Congress formally requesting clarification.
Project Nightingale, the word to Google
Today bigG intervenes on the pages of its official blog with a post signed by David Feinberg, number one of the division Health, also the protagonist of the streaming video below which opens with a statement of intent: "The goal is to help anyone live a healthier life".
It should be pointed out that Google has immediately confirmed the existence of the project, underlining how it is conducted according to what is reported in a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) contract and in accordance with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the US law that defines the methods of treatment of medical information.
What Google intends to do is to adopt the same approach already tested for the organization of online information (for example with the search engine) for the management of everything concerning the health of a patient. The prospect is to put in the hands of doctors packaged instruments in order to support them in the diagnosis of diseases and in the prescription of treatments.
From Mountain View comes the reassurance that the data can be consulted exclusively by selected personnel and previously submitted to a specific training for the acquisition of not only scientific but also ethical skills. Each access is also temporary and conducted in a constantly monitored environment. It is then reiterated that none of the information in question will ever be used for the purpose of advertising.
Medical records and privacy
Clarifications that in any case do not yet seem to have convinced the Congress: four members sent Google a letter asking for further clarification by December 6 and defining "disturbing" the fact that Ascension did not notify the patients of the partnership signed.
The recent acquisition of Fitbit, a manufacturer of smartwatches and smartbands, devices that thanks to integrated sensors can be useful for monitoring the biometric parameters of the wearer.